Your kitchen sponge can harbor hundreds of bacteria species, and you're probably not replacing it nearly enough
- Your sponge is the grossest thing in your
kitchen, professional cleaner Bailey Carson said.
- Kitchen sponges harbor nearly 400 different species of bacteria, but
cleaningthem isn't the answer.
- Carson suggests replacing your sponge every two weeks, while scientists say to do so once a week.
Sponges are disgusting.
We fill them up with water and soap and rub them across all of our dishes to pick up germs and food remnants. We wipe them across our crumb-infested countertops and dining room tables. It's no wonder they're the grossest thing in our kitchens.
"Ironically, the dirtiest thing in the kitchen is something we use to clean with," Bailey Carson, professional cleaner and
In a 2017 study published in Scientific Reports, researchers analyzed 14 used kitchen sponges and found "massive colonization" of certain species of bacteria.
Carson said kitchen sponges are a breeding ground for almost 400 species of bacteria that linger in its crevices.
"People often try to get the most use out of their sponges, and will only then throw them out once there is visible grime," Carson said.
Others try cleaning their sponges, but Carson says this will only fester the growth of more bacteria.
Carson recommends swapping out your sponge for a new one every two weeks.
The Scientific Reports study found that while cleaned sponges have fewer bacteria than uncleaned ones, the best way to combat sponge bacteria is to replace them once a week.
But if the idea of using a sponge now makes you want to gag, try Carson's DIY hack for cleaning your countertops with baking soda and half a lemon.
Lemon is a great natural cleaning agent, according to Carson, who previously told Insider all of her favorite
"Many cleaning products smell like lemon, but the fruit itself is one of the most useful natural cleaning products you can use," she said.
Carson said half a lemon dipped in baking soda makes an effective countertop cleaner. Just dip the lemon half in the powder and use it to wipe down surfaces.
"This lemon hack is a lifesaver," she said.
However, Carson warns not to use this hack for delicate surfaces, like marble, because it could damage them.
You can make use of the other half of the lemon by tossing it down the garbage disposal, according to Carson.
Sending half a lemon through your garbage disposal will clean it and freshen the smell, she said.
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